Diving Into the Darkness Within

Posted on : 20-08-2006 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


This morning my husband and I spent about an hour and a half filling in a budget for ourselves. We’ve never really done that before.  Not both of us. Not together.  Thanks to the inspiration of the financial guru, Dave Ramsey, we’re motivated to get ourselves out of the usual cycle of spend-spend-spend and run-run-run from debt.  As many of you know, I left my cushy IT job of ten years at the end of March this year so that I could focus on a career as a Professional Life Coach.  It’s a very humbling experience to step from the steady paycheck into the unknown and to trust that our needs will be cared for and cared for well. 

I’m also inspired by the fact that although Dave and his wife are multi-millionaires, they too live on a budget.  At first that was hard for my mind to wrap around, the idea that if you had a multitude of money that you’d have to think about how you spend it. But then upon further reflection I realized that when we have a lot of money, wow, wouldn’t it be fabulous if we were especially mindful about how we spend it so that we can give through our prosperity.  How can we give if we don’t know what we have? 

 This idea of being on a budget no matter what we make is very hard for me when I don’t have a bunch of money rolling in the door.  I’d much rather pretend to myself that the money will show up somewhere (from the great wallet in the sky?) then admit that what my husband and I earn, is what we have to spend.  In my defense though, I know that at least for the citizens of the U.S., we are steeped in this idea that we can have what we want by charging it on our credit cards and owing for the rest of our lives. In other words, being imprisoned by what we want. 

Pema Chodron, the Buddhist nun, talks about using that feeling which is uncomfortable to go deeper and to learn more about ourselves so that we can ultimately be free.  My uncomfortable feeling right now is a myriad of financial fear, sadness that I cannot have some of the luxuries I’d like to have and a wobbling of my faith, that perhaps I won’t be able to create the life I really want to have by doing what I love to do which is helping people through my Coaching. 

It isn’t it a gift for me to embrace all of these feelings and go deeper without sabotaging myself?  Isn’t it a gift that I can see that I have so many things in common with the very kinds of people I resent–you know–the ones who buy-buy-buy and cause shopping centers to be built in beautiful wilderness areas because we all want to buy-buy-buy? There is nowhere for me to go with all of this than to go into the deep darkness and try to understand and to keep loving myself as well as others. 

One little action I am taking today is to go through all of our paperback books to figure out which ones I really want to hang onto and which ones we can put up for a paperback swap club on the net, which is much better than impulse spending at the large name-brand bookstore. Sure, some of the books we borrow may be gently used, but what a nice thought to think another human enjoyed the same kind of book that we enjoy. 

Is there something that is coming up into your life today that feels uncomfortably familiar to you?  Are you willing to breathe into it and ask for the gifts of its lessons?  I love it when grass figures out a way to push itself through cracks in the cement; it gives me great hope for the flowers yet to come. 



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